On Monday, the NHL revealed the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was among the group that will have a chance to win the award.
The annual award is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. It’s voted on at the end of the regular season by each chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Perseverance and dedication are words that are certainly synonymous with Price’s season. After an impressive showing to help lead Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final last summer, Price voluntarily entered the NHL’s Player Assistance Program in October, returning to the team one month later.
However, Price was a long way from being able to return to the ice as he battled through multiple setbacks in his recovery from a knee injury. In the end, he missed 74 games before playing in five of Montreal’s final eight contests. That said, he was far from fully being healthy as he acknowledged after the season that he may not be able to play again due to the continued flare-up of the injury. (Nothing has been confirmed as of yet as Price continues to seek medical advice with a plan to be formulated from there.)
The Habs have had five different players win this award in the past – Max Pacioretty (2011-12), Saku Koivu (2001-02), Serge Savard (1978-79), Henri Richard (1973-74), and Claude Provost (1967-68). Details on when the winner will be revealed were not disclosed but it will likely be at some point later in the playoffs.
The other two finalists for the award are Flyers centre Kevin Hayes and Islanders defenceman Zdeno Chara.